Who Stole Christmas? by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Have you ever heard of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?”


Jenn, my daughter-in-law, explained the plot of the movie while Javed, an Afghanistan refugee who speaks fluent English, listened.

Jenn ended with this: “I am the Grinch.” Javed was confused…as you probably are also. It seems that Adam, Jenn’s husband, had asked Jenn what he could do to help her while she worked to re-settle the three Afghanistan families in Fort Scott.

So, earlier that day, Jenn had sent Adam a text, asking that he deliver the totes of Christmas decorations from their house to their E3 business so she could decorate the Common Ground coffee shop.

After all, Santa Claus was coming there later that evening, and everything needed to look festive.

When it was time to decorate, the totes weren’t where they were supposed to be. Jenn phoned Adam. He, apparently, had “misread” her text and had dropped them off at Hamid (Javed’s brother’s) house.

I, as Adam’s mother, can see how that could happen. After all, “E3” and “Hamel’s house” look so similar in a text, right? Lord, have mercy!

My daughter-in-law hurriedly drove to Hamid’s where she recognized her garland, now suspended from his porch ceiling, and her Common Ground decorations visible in the windows. Hamid speaks limited English, so she asked Javed to interpret, explaining to his brother what had happened and that she needed the decorations back.

Hamid and his wife cracked up with Javed’s explanation of the Grinch story.

They immediately placed the decorations back in their totes and loaded Jenn’s car.

What impressed me most was Jenn’s attitude. She could have bitten Adam’s head off or at least admonished him for being so irresponsible.

Instead, she found a way to bring humor into the situation and to blame herself by using the Grinch story.

Would I have done the same? Uh…no.

Especially if I had 100 other things on my Christmas plate that day like Jenn did (like moving the third Afghanistan family into their home, taking them to Walmart to get needed supplies, packing up to drive to my son’s wedding in Georgia, and decorating Common Ground).

This little “mess-up” cost her time she did not have. Still, she laughed.

Proverbs 15:15 ESV tells us this: All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

I write a lot about laughter because I know it is good for the soul.

Cheerful hearts are contagious, and the benefits of laughter, too numerous to mention here, include a change of anyone’s perspective—even on the Grinchiest of days.

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